Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman maintained a status quo on income tax slabs and rates in the Budget 2019. She however announced few changes concerning the income tax assessees, such as interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar to file an income tax return (ITR), and measures to reduce the time taken to file a tax return online as well as to enhance the accuracy of reporting income. The Finance Minister also announced the government’s decision to make it mandatory for individuals depositing more than Rs. 1 crore in a current account in a year to file income tax returns.
Here are some of the key changes in the rules on filing of income tax returns announced in Budget 2019:
Aadhaar, PAN interchangeability
The government announced “interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar”, meaning those who do not have PAN will be able to file income tax returns by quoting their Aadhaar number. Quoting of Aadhaar number will also be accepted instead of PAN under the Income Tax Act.
Filing ITR mandatory in these cases
The government proposed to make filing of return compulsory in the following cases:
Individuals depositing more than Rs. 1 crore in a current account in a year
Individuals spending more than Rs. 2 lakh on foreign travel in a year
Individuals spending more than Rs. 1 lakh on electricity in a year
Individuals claiming a capital gain exemption (under Section 54/54F) that brings them within the exemption limit
Pre-filling of ITR
The government has said that pre-filled tax returns will be made available to taxpayers, to not only reduce the time taken to file a tax return, but also to ensure accuracy of reporting of income as well as taxes. The pre-filled information will include details on salary income, capital gains from securities, bank interests, dividends and tax deductions. The information will be collected from sources such as banks, stock exchanges, mutual funds and retirement fund body EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization).
What happens if Aadhaar not linked with PAN
The government has proposed to make the PAN allotted to a person who fails to intimate the Aadhaar number within a notified date inoperative. Currently, the Income Tax Act provides for making PAN invalid if it is not linked with Aadhaar within a notified date.